A Day Out at Kimmeridge Bay

May 30th, 2019

As summer approaches many of our guests come to Ulwell Holiday Park in search of fun filled days out along the Dorset coast. Whilst the likes of Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove are usually top of everyone’s list, lesser known Kimmeridge Bay is often overlooked. Located just outside of Kimmeridge village and only a 20-minute drive from our Swanage holiday park, this hidden gem is a marine Special Area of Conservation and a must visit for families looking for an authentic coastal experience.

Fossil hunting fun

Kimmeridge Bay is flanked by slate cliffs and littered with large boulders and stones. Like the rest of the Jurassic Coast it is a firm favourite for avid fossil hunters, searching for a piece of history! Even the most inexperienced eye is likely to spot a pretty ammonite hidden in a rock or on the seabed.


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Important fossil hunting advice: The beach wardens kindly ask that you do not use hammers to extract fossils and that you leave fossils behind for other people to enjoy.


Ideal for rock pooling

Rockpooling is a must at this idyllic spot, which is famed for its abundance and variety of marine life. As the tide goes out, hundreds of rockpools filled with crabs, little fish, anemones and even star fish are exposed, providing hours of fun for younger members of the family.

Next to the slipway, the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Wild Seas Centre welcomes visitors free of charge to learn more about the Jurassic Coast and the species that inhabit its waters. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable visitors are on hand to talk you through the live exhibits and will help you identify any of your own fossil or wildlife finds.


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Great snorkelling for beginners 

Kimmeridge is considered one of the best places to snorkel in the UK thanks to its shallow and crystal-clear waters. The visitor centre has created a snorkel trail marked by five buoys for people to follow, which shows off the best underwater habitats in the bay. You can pick up a laminated under water guide to help identify the species you spot from the shop and it’s also possible to hire a full-face mask for those without their own gear.

Fantastic views

If you get itchy feet sitting on the beach all day there are some excellent walks along the clifftops, which provide far reaching views across the Dorset countryside and out to sea. It’s possible to climb from the beach onto the headland to see beautiful Clavell tower, which was once demolished and painstakingly rebuilt just metres away from its original position on the cliff edge.


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Travelling to Kimmeridge Bay

To get to the private bay you will have to use a toll road, which costs £5 per car (£10 for motorhomes) and entitles you to park at the beach all day. Kimmeridge Bay is unspoilt by commercialism and offers very little in the way of facilities. There are public toilets in the main carpark and an ice cream van in the summer months, but no cafes or restaurants on the beach. Therefore it is advisable to bring a packed lunch and drinks if you plan to stay for the day. Alternatively, stop in the nearby Kimmeridge village on your way home and enjoy a bite to eat in one of the pubs or restaurants in this small but picturesque hamlet.To get to the beach there are a number of steps, which may not be suitable for prams or wheelchairs. Kimmeridge Bay is dog friendly year-round.

What our guests say

  • A gem of a place

    Sandra, Winchester

    What a find. I almost don’t want to tell you about it.

    It’s a family park with lovely, mostly new, fresh, clean spacious caravans – all set out almost in steps on the side of a small hill. The larger hill rises behind you, the sea spreads out in front and the swimming pool beckons behind the bar.

    The people are friendly, the site is clean and welcoming and the scenery unbeatable. It’s a gem of a place.

  • Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage


    Always my no.1 choice when visiting Swanage. A truly wonderful location, lying under the stunning Ballard Down and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Being only a 10 min walk from Swanage and the coast means it’s conveniently located for all amenities.

    The staff are always very helpful to sort out any problems and keep the site in fantastic condition. A 5-star park.

  • Friendly, clean & well kept

    Cheshire, UK

    Stayed here as a base to tour Isle of Purbeck and go on to Air show in Bournemouth. Not the cheapest site but definitely the cleanest and well thought out.

    Swimming pool , shop and pub/restaurant all in proximity and well kept/stocked. Bus stop right outside entrance. Grass pitches have plenty of space and well drained with shower blocks water/ drain points really handy.

    Will definitely be using this site again.

  • Lovely weekend

    Tina, London

    We have just returned from a lovely weekend caravanning at Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park.
    Lovely clean site with indoor heated pool. We went in the pool around 5pm and were the only ones in there (apart from life guard) it was lovely and warm and clean.

    We walked to old Harry’s rock and then Down into Swanage itself and had fish and chips and an ice cream.
    Staff on the site were helpful and friendly. Lovely stay.

  • Our second, lovely Christmas at Ulwell

    Jane P, Cheltenham

    After the success of Christmas 2016 at Ulwell, we returned again for Christmas 2017 and had another great time. Lovely warm caravan, peaceful and relaxing on site and a fantastic carvery on Boxing Day at The Village Inn.

    Thanks to all staff who were working and made sure we had such a great break away.

All reviews


We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

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Proudly associated

Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

  • Camping and caravanning
  • AA
  • British Holiday & Home Parks assocation
  • Poole Tourism
  • Visit Britain

Finding us


From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.


The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North



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